Thursday, April 8, 2010

Answers: Part 1

Starts vs. Seeds
Seeds are best used for plants that have a short germination time or that don't transplant well. Here are some examples:
Starts: tomatoes, peppers, squash*, eggplants, artichokes
Seeds: peas, beans, corn, squash*, pumpkins*, lettuce, melons*, zucchini*, cucumber*,  potatoes, carrots, beets, radishes

*When these seeds are planted directly in garden and covered with a hot cap, they germinate faster and will soon catch up with starts.

It is best to choose your tomato varieties based on your intended use.

Cherry/Grape: Smallest tomatoes (Sweet 100s)
Plum: Meaty tomatoes good for salsa  (Romas)
Mid-size: Typical tomato. More watery than plums. Some varieties have short days to maturity. Most popular type of tomato. (Better Boy, Early Girl, Celebrity)
Beefsteak: Largest tomatoes. Great for slicing. (Beefsteak, Brandywine)

The rotten spots on the bottom are blossom end rot that is a result of a calcium deficiency. Utah soils have plenty of calcium, so the problem is actually caused by over watering. Letting the plants go through a wet dry cycle encourages the roots to go deeper and

I once had a roommate who watered her plants every time she had a drink of water. Her plants had short lives. Plant roots need oxygen, so sitting in soggy soil will kill roots, and dead roots result in a dead plant. Watering needs change during the growing season. Seeds need to be kept moist to germinate and seedlings don't have deep roots, so they need to be kept moist. But once plants are established it is best for them to go through a wet dry cycle. The saying is water deep, water infrequent. A good soaking once or twice a week when it is hot is better than short shallow waterings once a day.


emalina49a said...

What is a 'hot cap'?

So I will sometimes get blossom end rot in my container tomatoes. Is this soil or overwatering? Because you can drench a pot and the next day it can be parched again.

I am excited to hear what you have to share with us.

love bug momma said...

what bushes need to be trimmed or cut down each year. what are the rules for trimming

love bug momma said...

favorite perrenials?

love bug momma said...

the grass has grown over my metal edging and into my beds...i'm wondering if once I've cut it out and shaken off the grass if it can be mixed back into the soil or if that's just going to produce more grass problems...the roots...